Growing up, I had just always assumed that the use of an Interior Designer was for the rich and famous. And the rest of us made do with hand-me-downs, thrift store finds, a friend’s ‘good eye’ or maybe an idea from a magazine.
It wasn’t until I was well into my professional career, and the accompanying networking, that I learned more about what an Interior Designer can do. And it wasn’t the hundreds of thousands of dollars that I had assumed it would cost.
About 10 years ago, I had joined a business networking group where I got to know an Interior Designer. Our group met once a week, every week, and each of us had one minute to talk about our businesses. Over time, I got to really learn about all the different things Interior Designers do, from big jobs to small projects. As it turned out, a couple of years later, I was remodeling part of my house, the kitchen and living area, and I made finish decisions simply on what I liked, individually, but didn’t really take into account how all the new pieces would work together. As we approached the end of the remodel, it came to a point where I just got stuck. Nothing really seemed to jive and, well, I wasn’t in love with this new area of my house and I felt like I should be. I mean, this is my home, my children’s home, I wanted it to feel unique to us, and I wanted to have a true sense of ‘home’ and comfort and love – but I had no idea how to make that a reality – design-wise.
Cue in my new Interior Designer business colleague. She and I were chatting about my remodel and the point I was at with it, and she offered to just come over and take a look. Within minutes, I mean, less than 15 minutes, she gave me a bunch of ideas that were so simple and inexpensive that I was shocked. So, I took it a step further and asked how much it would be to have her implement these ideas (I knew I would mess it up). That night, she sent me a proposal that was so incredibly reasonable that I jumped at it.
The next week, I came home to beautifully placed hooks and small shelving for my kids to hang their coats and backpacks, a fun wall ‘shelf’ with clips for me to hang the kids art work, all new handles and drawer pulls for my kitchen cabinets, and then the pillows – oh my gosh the pillows were the icing on the cake! I had purchased a decent sized gray sectional couch which, you guessed it, came with gray pillows that I just didn’t love. She had removed the extra gray pillows and had added all new bright colored, fun-designed pillows that completely changed the room! This all happened a few years ago but to this very day, every time I walk into my living room and see all these crazy, fun, bright-colored pillows, it makes me smile – and it definitely makes our home unique.
Fast forward to today – I have an office in Norwell where myself and my staff of 7 work, Monday through Friday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM (sometimes more). To spend this much time out of my life in one place, well, I want to love it. And I want my staff to love it. I want to be inspired, creative, uplifted and I want to love the space I’m in. Moreover, I want it to make anyone who enters our office feel good.
I brought back the same Interior Designer to my office and I didn’t even have to say much. She already knew my aesthetic from my house, what I really liked (fun, colorful, unique) and what I did not like (gray on gray) and set to work. She gave me a rough idea of her ideas, which were all great, and then she did her thing.
Upon arriving at our office after she spent about a day and half there, my staff and I were floored! We love it! From the cool ‘library-style’ entrance, to the fun and kitschy sitting area, to our own little fun mail station, and even the wall-mounted purse hooks – we are in LOVE!
I probably should have mentioned earlier that we are all accountants and bookkeepers, so staring at numbers on a screen all day can get a little stale – but not in this office! It is bright, colorful, fun, creative, warm, unique and just truly special which encapsulates all the fantastic women who work there!
If you have a home or office that doesn’t make you smile and feel good every single day, then it may be time for a (small) investment in yourself and the space you’re in! If you are anything like me, you will not regret it!
We are lucky that here on the South Shore there are many talented Interior Designers and it is important to choose one that you really connect with. Personally, I connect with Alysha Siciliano of Alluring Concepts Interior Design.